The Washington Post is reporting that President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the case of LiAngelo Ball and two UCLA teammates, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley, who were arrested for shoplifting sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near their team hotel in China.
The players have been confined to their hotel since the arrest, and must stay there until the case is resolved. According to the report, Trump personally asked Xi to step in when the two met during a two-day stay in Beijing during Trump’s Asia trip:
After Trump raised the matter, Xi promised to look into the case and ensure that the players are treated fairly and expeditiously, said a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has been in touch with the families of the players and has spoken with UCLA coach Steve Alford, and Kelly remains in contact with Chinese authorities, the official added. This official indicated that charges against the players have been reduced and that the case is proceeding toward a resolution.
One interesting revelation here is that the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States has probably talked to LaVar Ball. It is unknown what disciplinary action will be taken by the UCLA basketball team if, and when, the players’ legal situation is resolved.